It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person - any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart... it's like she can't stop. And she'd certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it's like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time - and how her family has shattered since May died.
But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can't keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won't be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realization that only you can shape your destiny.
My Rating: 4/5
I received this book for review from Five Mile Press.
The author of this book is the protege of Stephen Chbosky and I could definitely see the influence that The Perks of Being a Wallflower had on this book. There were also qualities about this book that reminded me of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
The idea of Laurel writing to deceased people was a very smart and original idea in which to convey Laurel's story. Each of the people that she wrote to heavily influenced or inspired her life in some way. Most of the time it was through the sister she idolized in May.
I liked how informative Laurel's letters were not just about her life but the person she was writing to as well.
There were so many issues addressed in this book. At times I felt like there were perhaps too many, but I loved the way they all tied together at the end.
Overall this was a very grief driven, captivating read and something that I think all contemporary fans will enjoy.